A BIRMINGHAM-based American Football programme is hoping to raise £8,000 to buy 40 sets of new kit before the time Superbowl 55 is held on February 7.
The well-established Birmingham Lions Academy, which plays at Bournville Rugby Club, Avery Fields, in Bearwood, wants to purchase new helmets and pads – a significant investment for the club – to set it up for the 2021 season and many more years to come.
The fund-raising began in November and challenged participants to walk, run or cycle the distance to Superbowl 55 in Tampa Bay Florida.
So far they are more than halfway there and have raised almost £2,000.
Because the sport is not the most popular in the UK, the programme attracts players from a large catchment area.
The team is the most successful Midlands based team across the last five years with regular visits to the National Playoffs and Finals at the Youth and Junior Level – both age groups have earned regional and national titles in the last three years.
The club will begin training again on Saturday, January 23, and are ready to welcome new players.
There are four age groups – U11s and U14s who play non-contact flag football and U16s and U19s who play full contact.
As a club their success lies in the focus to develop players and introduce fundamental techniques from an early age.
They have a number of expert coaches available at all positions who are also part of the senior and junior Great Britain set-up in addition to having a number of coaches who teach at university and senior levels.
The competitive season runs from April to August so they commence training in January and finish when their season ends which is typically late August.
All equipment is supplied by the Academy.
Typically, players would just need gumshields, boots and training tracksuits.
A club spokesperson said: “We welcome everyone regardless of gender, experience or ability and train everyone in the same professional manner.
“The aim is to develop players at both a playing and personal level and this takes precedence – we find this is a formula for success.”
Girls are allowed to play at all levels and, as part of a wider programme, they are linked with the six-time national champions ladies team who they work closely with and train alongside at Avery Fields.
The club is also searching for a new corporate sponsor – any company or organisation interested or anyone wanting to find out about joining should email – firstname.lastname@example.org.
The club would welcome any donations for the fund-raising campaign.
Click here for the GoFundMe page.